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Comment by Richard Healy on June 22, 2012 at 12:51pm
Likewise, if you are ever Cambridge way (the original one - not that cheap knock off with the *other* famous universities!) ;-)

I enjoy discussion, and less the arguments - it actually frustrated me when Corey waded into the discussion becuase although there was a chasm between me and micah, there were moments when I almost felt were were communicating but alas...I wanted to keep trying to drag it back to a discussion of evidence. But - as the flow chart suggests that was always a dim prospect.

The questions from Skarlet are of the order of "what tests are you referring to specifically that have been used to prove macro-evolution?" (actually asking for evidence!)

"Similarly, macro-evolution proposed that life, consciousness, and ultimately self-consciously can spring forth from something without those attributes."

(a load of rubbish but crucially, I feel, uninformed rubbish.)

"read your idea about the rotation of the earth, and have no response or alternate data right now. Thanks for telling me your opinion on it. "

(I corrected her on 'opinion' by finding the article in nature for her to read.)

and so on..

C'est la vie. At least Micah and Co. was entertaining.

I really need better hobbies...
Comment by Loren Miller on June 22, 2012 at 12:29pm

I'm completely with you, Richard.  I LOVE answering questions, when I know enough to answer them in the first place.  As it comes to evolution ... hell, I'm an engineer, not a biologist.  I have a rudimentary understanding of the mechanics regarding natural selection and mutation, and beyond that, I don't worry about it - it's just not a field I am much interested in.

I DO care about evidence and about the practices which make science effective (again, I'm an engineer!).  Most of the arguments I've gotten into are with people who repeatedly and insistently want to cite facts not in evidence or allegations without foundation ... or simply cite the bible as absolute truth ... which it ain't.

BTW ... you ever make it to Cleveland, I know some fine examples of Thai, Indian and WAY above average Mexican!

Comment by Richard Healy on June 22, 2012 at 12:17pm
Keep the sushi. Indian, Thai, above-average Mexican will do.

We are of one mind, you and I.

Well it's been 'all quiet on the western front' ever since my last missive.

No so much as squeak out of the pair of them. I shall declare victory then move on.

In truth, I have already moved on to other targets - someone who doesn't understand evolution but admits to never having studied it - which is unlike Micah and Corey who have emobided the sheer lunacy of young earth creationism which is a complete denial of science, a bubble of unreality that eventually expands to swallow up every scientific discipline on the books and every method that supports them -this person appears geinuely naive but has been befuddled by creationist creeds.

This is a mind, I feel can be saved.
Comment by Loren Miller on June 20, 2012 at 6:31am

Seems to me I ran onto that debate chart some time back ... and the fact is that your opponents have already violated the first decision box of that chart:

Can you envision anything that will change your mind on this topic?
NO ==> This is NOT a Discussion I will not talk to you about this topic

I guess this is why I'm not much interested in debating theists any more. They don't move, nor can they see the problems with their own arguments, or they refuse to see them. Yeah, sure, the debate may be more for the benefit of those observing, but you know what? If those observers don't come up and say, "you know, I got something out of that," then I get nothing out of it, other than a lot of effort yielding nothing but frustration ... and frankly, I have better things to do with my time than to bang my head against an adamantine wall.

I admire you for your persistence, Richard, but I do not envy you.

P.S.: Keep the sushi. Indian, Thai, above-average Mexican will do.

Comment by Richard Healy on June 20, 2012 at 12:18am

Well, I sorta read at least SOME of this!

*sniff* - some of my best work! ;)

Though I admit I did lean rather heavily on my sources for the dendrochronology stuff, since I admit it: I am not a dendrochronologist! However I did go and read the scientific papers I was citing and they do in fact say what my sources said they said.  And my creationist pair now have that link so they can go check for themselves (not that they ever will but we live in hope)

I'd say it's worth it for the final (most recent) entry from Micah when he tells me *exactly* what I have to do to get him to change his mind....


With this in mind...










































...  a re-occuring theme with this pair has been their inability to stick to a point.
So in the middle of my laying down the evidence of dendrochronology (which arguably falls into the school of Botany), they'd sudden bring up evolution!  Likewise, the central issue at play in this discussion is the evidence for Noah's flood.  And here he's telling me how he knows Jesus - okay...sure, whatever - but about the flood  - you can't prove evolution - but about the flood. Uniformitarianism and maths are just assumptions! ... evidence of the flood.... Scientists are all atheists who conspire to make creationsm silly - yes but getting back to evidence of the flood - BURN SINNER!!  etc...

Micah at least has shown some flexibility on some points (or rather I should say elasticity, since he seems to snap back into place right after), but that earnt him the scorn of Corey who says he's wavering in his faith, becuase faith, as we know, is the denial of evidence.

I'm still kinda proud I got Micah to admit there's no evidence of a global world-wide flood for 12,410 years.

I'd call that a win! (and it's why I like the dendrochronology example so much.  Easy to explain and effective!)

On Eternity, I prefer:

"I mean, d'you know what eternity is? There's this big mountain, see, a mile high, at the end of the universe, and once every thousand years there's this little bird-"
"What little bird?" said Aziraphale suspiciously.
"This little bird I'm talking about. And every thousand years-"
"The same bird every thousand years?"
Crowley hesitated. "Yeah," he said.
"Bloody ancient bird, then."
"Okay. And every thousand years this bird flies-"
"flies all the way to this mountain and sharpens its beak-"
"Hold on. You can't do that. Between here and the end of the universe there's loads of-" The angel waved a hand expansively, if a little unsteadily. "Loads of buggerall, dear boy."
"But it gets there anyway," Crowley persevered.
"It doesn't matter!"
"It could use a space ship," said the angel.
Crowley subsided a bit. "Yeah," he said. "If you like. Anyway, this bird-"
"Only it is the end of the universe we're talking about," said Aziraphale. "So it'd have to be one of those space ships where your descendants are the ones who get out at the other end. You have to tell your descendants, you say, When you get to the Mountain, you've got to-" He hesitated. "What have
they got to do?"
"Sharpen its beak on the mountain," said Crowley. "And then it flies back-"
"-in the space ship-"
"And after a thousand years it goes and does it all again," said Crowley quickly.
There was a moment of drunken silence,
"Seems a lot of effort just to sharpen a beak," mused Aziraphale.
"Listen," said Crowley urgently, "the point is that when the bird has worn the mountain down to nothing, right, then-"
Aziraphale opened his mouth. Crowley just knew he was going to make some point about the relative hardness of birds' beaks and granite mountains, and plunged on quickly.
"-then you still won't have finished watching The Sound of Music."
Aziraphale froze.
"And you'll enjoy it," Crowley said relentlessly. "You really will."
"My dear boy-"
"You won't have a choice."
"Heaven has no taste."
"And not one single sushi restaurant."
A look of pain crossed the angel's suddenly very serious face.”  

Crowley and Aziraphale ("Good Omens" Pratchett / Gaiman) 


Comment by Loren Miller on June 19, 2012 at 7:40pm

Well, I sorta read at least SOME of this!

what u [sic] fail to realize is that I literally know God. Jesus lives inside of me. He is all of the evidence I need to know the bible is true

Oooooooooookay ... if he lives inside of you, let's DRAG HIM OUT for ALL to see and maybe EVERYONE could believe!

And as for having eternity to think about it, I wonder if he realizes just how long eternity is. Billions upon trillions upon quadrillions of years, to the point where recorded history to now doesn't amount to one second, by comparison, and all because of 70 or 80 or 90 years of behavior that some putative deity doesn't like? Man, that is the most fucked-up concept of justice I can hope to even begin to imagine!

True Believers are SCARY.

Comment by Richard Healy on June 19, 2012 at 6:38pm


Comment by Richard Healy on June 19, 2012 at 6:34pm

More fun debating Micah and Corey.

In this episode.

*Corey looses his temper and gets very grumpy with Richard.

*Richard wins a major concession from a Micah over the flood (even if he don't seem to realise it!)

* Richard takes the Creationists to school.

Enjoy!  (I know I did!)

Comment by Richard Healy on June 17, 2012 at 8:07am
No I don't think there will be any more concessions Loren. This is one of those conversations talking across the divide. I will never convince them becuase they are already persuaded that everything I say is already corrupted.

Note that Micah says to the other poster Jonathan "I don't play fair, natural logic disgusts me."

This is a mind, lost.
Comment by Loren Miller on June 17, 2012 at 6:34am

In the final analysis, Richard, neither Micah nor Corey want to hear it.  The bible MUST be right and you MUST be wrong, and even if you are right, he will never acknowledge it, because if he does, then his faith has a crack in it, and I'm not certain even the slightest crack in his belief system is tolerable to him.  This is why organizations like Creation Ministries, International and The Discovery Institute exist: to bolster the bible with put-up pseudoscience to provide the kinds of facades that Micah is standing behind.

And of course they start with god; they MUST.  A clean sheet of paper would be anathema to them as regards study of a new phenomenon.  Coincidentally, they can't see NOT having god in the discussion as a LACK of bias, which is why many believers see atheism as just one more form of religion.  The old saw about "for a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail" illustrates this pretty well.

Doubtless, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.  It's just that I've been through discussions / debates like this before.  They never go anywhere, nothing gets resolved, and I come away from them feeling as though I have wasted my time ... which is why I don't get into such discussions much any more.

I'll be interested to hear if you manage to get any concessions from either Micah or Corey, but I'm pretty dubious.  Best wishes, though.



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